Umm Qais: Gadara and the Golan
Umm Qais is a city about 90 kilometers northwest of Amman. It is a windswept city in the far northwest corner of Jordan. The ruïn city of the biblical Gadara is the main attraction. Although less complete than Jerash, it is an appealing site. During spring, you can enjoy the wildflowers blooming in the valleys. And from Umm Qais, you can watch over the famous Golan Heights and Lake Tiberias.
Ajloun: castle and forest
Ajloun is located about 75 kilometers northwest of Amman. Whether you are more into culture or nature, Ajloun offers something for everyone. Visit Qala’at ar-Rabad, better known as Ajloun castle. Learn about its long and interesting history and enjoy the fabulous views over the surrounding valleys. Ajloun Forest Reserve a small (13 sq km) reserve that was established by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, RSCN. Their main goal is to protect this rare woodland with oak, carob, pistachio, and strawberry trees. RSCN offers seven hikes between 2 and 18 kilometers in this area.
Azraq: castle, wetland, and wildlife reserve
Azraq is located about 100 kilometers east of Amman. Qasr al-Azraq is the former headquarter of the famous British army officer Lawrence of Arabia. Visit the castle and imagine how Lawrence lived here in the winter of 1917-1918. Close by is the small Azraq wetland reserve. The wetland is an excellent place for birdwatchers. South of Azraq, you can find the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve. It is home to some of the rarest species of animals in the Middle East. Such as the Orxy, species of Gazelles, and the Persian Onagers. Check out the website of the Wild Jordan for more information.
Madaba: mosaics and Mount Nebo
Madaba is located about 30 kilometers southwest of Amman. It is best known for its superb Byzantine mosaics. Visit the sixth-century mosaic map of the Holy land in St. George Church. Walk the narrow streets with Ottoman stone houses and visit museums containing many more beautiful mosaics. A short road trip to Mount Nebo takes you to the place where Moses looked out over the Promised Land. Enjoy the stunning views as the sun sets over the Dead Sea.
Wadi Mujib: the lowest reserve on earth
Wadi Mujib is located about 125 kilometers southwest of Amman. If you are looking for adventure or wildlife, Wadi Mujib is one of the places to be. This canyon is 2 kilometers south of Dhiban and the lowest reserve on earth. People believed that it was the natural boundary between biblical Moab an Ammon. There are 4 RSCN trails. If you love canyoning and adventure and you definitely should try one of the three water trails (closed from late autumn till mid-spring). The dry trail is an excellent choice for wildlife lovers. Wadi Mujib is also an excellent place for birdwatching. Enjoy the sight of eagles, kestrels, and vultures floating around on rising thermals.
Dana Biosphere Reserve
Dana Biosphere Reserve is located about 190 kilometers south of Amman. It is a spectacular wilderness area. Its beauty is staggering. Its history is rich. And the biodiversity is terrific with four bio-geographical zones. Dana is home to 800 species of plants and 450 species of animals. You can explore many short trails without a guide. But you can also choose for a full-day guided hike. It is an excellent place for birdwatchers and those who like canyoning.
Shobak castle is located about 210 kilometers south of Amman. Crusader king Baldwin I built this castle at the beginning of the 12th century. The beautifully carved external calligraphic inscriptions dating back to the end of the 13th century. The gatekeeper can show you around and tell the legendary story about the 375 steps down into the heart of the hill that leads to the water supply. Enjoy the fabulous valley views. The nicely shaped yellow mountains with the typical lines seem to be designed by an artist.
Eastern desert castles
The Eastern desert castles are located between Amman and Azraq. They are not castles but bathhouses, lodges, and palaces. They form an impressive collection of early Islamic architecture. On a day tour from Amman, you can visit Qasr al-Hallabat, Hammam as-Sarah, Qusayr Amra, Qsar Kharana. Wander around the sites, explore corridors, admire frescos, get surprised by both beauty and architecture, and enjoy exquisite views. For sure, it will be a memorable day.
Ahlan wa sahlan, welcome to Jordan!
Once again we would like to invite you to come and visit Jordan and experience our beautiful country, our famous hospitality and excellent food. On our tour pages, you can find itineraries for your stay in Wadi Rum. Want to do something different? Send your request by using our contact form. We are happy to create a tailored trip plan for you.